Yesterday morning, I received a phone call I get about twice a year. It was a loved one on the other end, begging for help. Addiction wreaks havoc on families, and the person in that situation genuinely wants help. However, I had to evaluate my own situation and determine if it was the best option for me to help at this moment. My nervous system screamed, "YES! Help! This is chump change for others." That's my hero wound, always jumping into the ring to try to win the title. But the reality was that our family was not in a financial position to assist. I had worked extremely hard in the past few months to plan out our family trips for the next four weeks. Giving away that money would not only affect me but also impact my family. And guess what? My nervous system would still be activated, prolonging the spiral of stress longer than necessary.
Saying no is one of the hardest things for family members in such situations. We can hear the truth in their voices, knowing they need help and genuinely desire change. However, after years of the same dance, we must stand in our truth and determine the best course of action for each person seeking help. Otherwise, we risk getting caught in a downward spiral of chaos, depression, and anxiety, alongside the person we are trying to save.
This storyline can be applied to various situations in life, even if we remove the addiction element. Where do you find yourself giving when you know you don't have the capacity to do so? What unexpected situation hits you out of nowhere and creates a nervous system disruption, unleashing years of stress upon you like a cannonball?
Being human means our nervous system will experience periods of dysregulation. This was my process yesterday when unexpected turmoil jolted me out of nowhere:
- My nervous system instinctively jumps into fight or flight mode - it's a natural response. This alarm system ensures our safety. However, if I don't take the time to calm myself down, it can shift into cortisol and create anxiety. If you find yourself in a constant state of stress and anxiety, it's a sign that you're not taking aligned action. I used to be trapped in this cycle for years until I decided to break free from the spiral.
- I allow myself to cry and check in with my heart to determine the aligned action for me and my family.
- I express my needs. This step took me years to learn and is still one of the hardest for me. I became the person who saved the day for so many people in my family at a young age, and it's ingrained in my cells to not put myself first. But now I know that not taking aligned action for myself only makes me sick. I refuse to go down that path ever again.
- I call @billygoatthebarber or another safe person to talk about the situation. My throat needs to speak. My body needs to release the energy through my voice.
- I move my body. For me, movement is a must. It has evolved over the years, but today, I hopped on my Peloton. Walking, running, dancing, and biking are all grounding activities that bring you back into your body. In Human Design, I'm an active body type, so getting my heart rate up and sweating are both positive for me.
- I take a 6-minute breathwork pause. I stop, drop, and engage in breathwork. This is my new slogan for myself and my clients.
- I take a shower and write this blog. I teach through experience, and my pearl lies in the gate of the Storyteller. It's the way I process, and in turn, I hope someone else finds peace knowing they're not alone in their daily journey. Writing is one of the most healing things I do for myself.
- I return to my regularly scheduled programming. The old me would have lost an entire day. But the new me gains growth, perspective, and gives myself time to step into my personal power with each lesson life throws at me.
If I had ignored my emotions, the rest of the day would have left me energetically drained and emotionally tapped out. I'm sure I would have unintentionally created some chaos of my own. We have the power within us to create calm. The world wants us to believe it's outside of us, in the next pill or next plant medicine experience. The answers to our problems do not lie beyond our bodies. The magic is within you. If the young girl who used to experience debilitating anxiety attacks every day of her life can learn to reconnect with her nervous system, so can you.
- Amanda (@luxhealingarts)